The 1975’s Matty Healey has vowed that going forward the band will add an inclusion rider to any festival contract stating they’ll only play if a certain percentage of the other artists on the bill are women or non-binary.
The singer made the claim on Twitter Wednesday after sliding into a conversation about the overwhelmingly male lineups at this year’s Reading and Leeds festivals in England (the 1975 are not set to play either show this year). While Healy praised booking a newly reunited Rage Against the Machine as a headliner, The Guardian‘s deputy music editor, Laura Snapes, noted that a band of Rage’s stature could’ve “used their leverage to demand equality on the bill,” then encouraged Healy to do the same.
“Take this as me signing this contract,” Healy replied, “I have agreed to some festivals already that may not adhere to this and I would never let fans down who already have tickets. But from now I will and believe this is how male artists can be true allies.”
Although a Twitter post isn’t a legally binding document and Healy acknowledged there might be some specifics the band needs to work out (“I’m sure my agents are having kittens right now,” he joked), he continued: “[T]imes up man people need to act and not chat thanks for the kick up the arse [S]napes you’re making a difference… Point is that Reading and Leeds with more women would be honestly the best festival in the world that place is vibeyyy. Let’s not judge people and give the benefit of the doubt that people are going to start listening. I can feel the change!”
Last year at the Brit Awards, where the 1975 won Album of the Year for A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, Healy quoted an essay by Snapes about misogyny in the music industry in his acceptance speech. “She said that in music, male misogynist[ic] acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits of difficult artists,” he said. “Whilst women and those that call them out are treated as hysterics who don’t understand art.”
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The 1975 are prepping their new album, Notes on a Conditional Form, which, after some delays, is expected to arrive April 24th. The band will embark on a North American tour in support of the LP this summer.
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